|Created by||Meredith Stiehm|
|Theme music composer||Helmut and Franz Vonlichten with intro by Michael A. Levine|
|Composer(s)||Michael A. Levine|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||7|
|No. of episodes||156|
|Production location(s)||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|Running time||42-45 minutes|
|Production||Jerry Bruckheimer Television|
CBS Paramount Network Television
CBS Television Studios
Warner Bros. Television
|Distributor||Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV),|
|Original release||September 28, 2003 -|
May 2, 2010
Cold Case is an American police procedural television series which ran on CBS from September 28, 2003 to May 2, 2010. The series revolved around a fictionalized Philadelphia Police Department division that specializes in investigating cold cases.
On May 18, 2010, CBS announced that the series had been canceled. The series aired in syndication, and also on Ion Television in the U.S. and on Viva in Canada.Sleuth also aired the series occasionally. In 2011, the show aired on MyNetworkTV. Since September 3, the show made its debut on the new over-the-air channel Start TV. This show also still airs on MBC Action.
The show is set in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and follows Detective Lilly Rush (Kathryn Morris), a homicide detective with the Philadelphia Police Department, who specializes in "cold cases", or investigations which are no longer being actively pursued by the department. Rush was initially partnered with Detective Chris Lassing (Justin Chambers) in the first five episodes and then with Detective Scotty Valens (Danny Pino) for the remainder of the series. They work under Lieutenant John Stillman (John Finn) and are assisted by other detectives from their squad--Nick Vera (Jeremy Ratchford), Will Jeffries (Thom Barry), and beginning in season three, Kat Miller (Tracie Thoms).
Usually, each episode would focus on a single investigation. All cases involved murders committed in Philadelphia, although investigations occasionally required travel outside the city. Cases were also spread out over much of the previous century, with some as recent as a year or two old and others dating back to the 1910s. Initially the show had cases begin with the team receiving a new lead or "new direction", such as an episode wherein a gun recovered at a gun buyback program turned out to be a murder weapon. As seasons went on this conceit was increasingly abandoned.
Over the course of the episode, the detectives would interview witnesses associated with the crime and piece together the story of what led the victims to their death. These interviews were accompanied by flashback sequences to the time of the murder which dramatized the testimony. Witness testimony, even from people who would later be revealed as the killer, was almost never false. At most the guilty party would lie by omission, leaving out critical details, or stopping their narrative before they implicated themselves. The witness testimony was also generally presented in chronological order so that it formed a cohesive linear story for the audience.
The climax of the episode would include a true confession from the killer, along with a flashback showing what really happened. There would then be a montage of the offender being arrested, with the spirit of the victim, usually seen by one of the detectives, looking on approvingly. During this sequence a song from the time period would play.
Through the flashbacks, the show examined many issues related to 20th century history, including: racism, homophobia, sexism, abortion, and police brutality. Some of the cases were based on real life events or victims, akin to the "ripped from the headlines" style from shows like Law & Order.
The theme song is an excerpt from "Nara" by E.S. Posthumus, with an introduction by series composer Michael A. Levine that begins with an otherworldly wail from vocalist Elise Morris. Besides Levine's original music, each episode makes extensive use of era-appropriate music for flashbacks to the year in question. Some episodes contain music only from one artist such as Ray Charles, U2, Radiohead, Bruce Springsteen, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, The Doors, John Mellencamp, Johnny Cash, Bob Seger, Aerosmith, Pink Floyd, Tim McGraw, Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra and John Lennon. Pearl Jam's music was used in the two-part season-six finale, the first time one artist's music has been used for two full episodes. In one episode, the music from the movie The Rocky Horror Picture Show ("Creatures of the Night" starring Barry Bostwick) and in another episode ("Wilkommen") only music from Cabaret was used. In the series finale, music from The Rolling Stones was used, and for the first time, it featured an unreleased song.
Original Songs of the series:
Danny Pino appeared as Valens in the CSI: NY episode "Cold Reveal". This episode connected Cold Case to not only CSI: NY, but also to CSI: Miami, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: Cyber, and Without a Trace.
A Japanese remake of the series was broadcast from October 22, 2016 to December 24, 2016. A second season was broadcast from October 13, 2018 to December 15, 2018.
In 2005, John Finn, Kathryn Morris and Jeremy Ratchford appeared in a satirical promo on the Irish language television station TG4. The commercial won a Gold Medal in the "Best Drama Promos" category of the 2007 Sharks International Advertising Awards Festival of Ireland (Sharks Awards). The promotion features John Finn and Kathryn Morris in character interrogating a murder suspect (Peader Cox) from the TG4 soap Ros na Rún who refuses to speak in English; both detectives then begin talking in Irish, much to the surprise of Jeremy Ratchford's character. The promo tied in with a murder investigation in Ros na Rún.
This section needs to be updated.September 2015)(
After its launch, television critics noted similarities between Cold Case and a similar Canadian series called Cold Squad which debuted five years earlier.Cold Squad fans accused the American series of copying the Canadian program's basic premise and characters. In 2003, the Cold Squad creators considered seeking legal redress against the Cold Case producers over copyright issues. Both shows air in Canada (and on the same network, CTV). The law firm headed by entertainment attorney Pierce O'Donnell, who successfully represented Art Buchwald in his copyright-infringement suit against Paramount and who has defended the James Bond franchise against copycats, confirmed it agreed to represent[clarification needed] the Cold Squad producers, who claim the CBS series is a knock-off of their own hit show. The Globe and Mail reported that Meredith Stehm, the American series creator, attended a TV writing seminar at the Canadian Film Centre in 2002 where the Cold Squad concept was discussed. O'Donnell's law firm commented in a statement: "Our clients are very concerned about many striking similarities and have retained counsel to investigate the situation and, if necessary, to take appropriate action."
|Season||Episodes||Originally aired||Nielsen ratings|
|First aired||Last aired||Rank||Rating||Tied with|
|1||23||September 28, 2003||May 23, 2004||17||9.3||N/A|
|2||23||October 3, 2004||May 22, 2005||14||9.7||The Apprentice|
|3||23||September 25, 2005||May 21, 2006||17||9.3||N/A|
|4||24||September 24, 2006||May 6, 2007||16||8.9||CSI: NY|
|5||18||September 23, 2007||May 4, 2008||28||7.1||Deal or No Deal -- Monday|
|6||23||September 28, 2008||May 10, 2009||20||7.5||The Bachelor|
|7||22||September 27, 2009||May 2, 2010||29||6.3||Private Practice|
|Season||Timeslot||Season premiere||Season finale||Ranking||Rating||Viewers|
|1st||2003-2004||Sunday 8:00pm||September 28, 2003||May 23, 2004||#17||9.3||14.18|
|2nd||2004-2005||October 3, 2004||May 22, 2005||#14||9.7||15.10|
|3rd||2005-2006||September 25, 2005||May 21, 2006||#17||9.3||14.24|
|4th||2006-2007||Sunday 9:00pm||September 24, 2006||May 6, 2007||#16||8.9||13.98|
|5th||2007-2008||September 23, 2007||May 4, 2008||#28||7.1||10.89|
|6th||2008-2009||September 28, 2008||May 10, 2009||#20||7.5||12.00|
|7th||2009-2010||Sunday 10:00 pm (September 27, 2009 - November 15, 2009)
Sunday 9:00 pm (November 22, 2009 - January 17, 2010)
Sunday 10:00 pm (February 14, 2010 - May 2, 2010)
|September 27, 2009||May 2, 2010||#29||6.3||9.86|
Cold Case began in September 2003 and quickly became a staple of the CBS Sunday night schedule. The crime drama had a successful first season and, by season two, was averaging a 3.5 rating in the 18-49 demographic and 15.1 million viewers. For the next couple seasons, total viewership fell slightly but the demographic numbers rose, reaching a 3.8 in season four.
In season five, the show averaged a 2.9 rating and about 12 million viewers. In Season 6, the ratings sank lower, to an average of a 2.7 rating; CBS made a choice between renewing Without a Trace and Cold Case. They chose to keep Cold Case. In Season 7, the show's ratings dropped even further to a 2.15 rating in the 18-49 demographic and 9.6 million viewers. One reason for this is that the show aired at 10:00 pm, the ratings dropped 25% to 9 million viewers. On November 22, 2009 CBS scheduled Cold Case at 9:00 pm. The ratings increased to 10 million viewers, but it was not enough to keep Cold Case. On February 14, 2010, Cold Case returned to its original schedule, at 10:00 pm.
CBS announced the show would not be renewed for an eighth season.
A soundtrack CD was released in 2008 by Lakeshore Records, featuring incidental music composed by Michael A. Levine from the first four seasons, as well as the song 300 Flowers, sung by Robbyn Kirmsse.
|2.||"The Good Death"||4:12|
|5.||"Sister Vivian's Flashback"||1:04|
|6.||"Yo, Adrian (featuring Elin Carlson)"||1:13|
|8.||"Gwen & Rush"||0:56|
|10.||"Sadie's Blues (featuring Carmen Twillie)"||3:47|
|12.||"Bad Night (featuring Robbyn Kirmsse)"||2:02|
|18.||"Rush & George"||2:56|
|19.||"The Badlands (featuring Jason Ralicki)"||2:48|
|22.||"300 Flowers (featuring Robbyn Kirmsse)"||2:48|